Sunday, August 2, 2009

Strovil's Wizard Academy

I thought this idea up years ago on my way to undergrad for use on Venura. The point of Strovil's school is to teach the theories of magic and magery in addition to practical knowledge of spells and reagents and rituals.

The theory of wild magic is reserved for higher level students. The idea I had now and the idea I had then was a series of tests for beginning students to teach them the successful tactics and strategies of wizards.

The initial tests for cantrip-only students involve a series of challenges that can mostly be overcome through mundane means. Most students, excited to use their newly-learned spells, quickly exhaust themselves of their magical power. They then encounter the latter trials that can only be overcome by magic (unless one is very clever, very skilled, and very lucky). The point of these initial lessons is to teach the young wizards that magic should not be their first choice in overcoming challenges; instead, they should overcome as much as possible using their own minds and bodies, utilizing their magic only when necessary.

A further test involves using illusions to attack students in the middle of the night. The student is awakened by sounds of scuffling or mumbling in or near his room. An illusory enemy then accosts the student. Students who heeded their lessons and retained some spell power are in much better position to fend off the attack. Students who felt that their lessons for the day were done and used up their spells will be left overpowered (wizards being rather ineffectual at manual hand-to-hand combat).

Trials could include getting an object from a high shelf, finding one's way through a dark room, cutting an object down from a rope, etc. I need to look through the SRD at the cantrips to develop appropriate tests.

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